Chris Whitney is a partner with Oliver Wyman’s Life Actuarial practices and works out of the Hartford, CT office. He specializes in life insurance and has more than a decade of experience in pricing, valuation, and corporate development and strategy.
His experience includes advising insurers through regulatory changes, leading analysis and implementation of a change to an insurer’s reinsurance strategy, playing a key role in high-profile M&A assignments, and implementing principles-based reserving for insurers. Team members rely on Chris for advice on complex problems that require quick resolution. “I'm often depended on to provide actionable analysis or recommendations that build consensus around both the problem and the path toward a solution,” he notes.
A turning point in Chris’ career came when the head of his business unit pulled him aside after a presentation and asked him “if you can’t get people to buy in to the work you did, then what good is the work?” after which he began to find great enjoyment in not just producing the numbers but telling the story around them and explaining what they mean. “Doing so has allowed me to elevate the importance of the actuarial work I'm doing and has opened the door to work on a lot of interesting assignments for technical and non-technical stakeholders that I would have been overlooked for otherwise,” he adds.
Looking ahead, Chris anticipates that the combination of regulatory change and rapidly changing economic conditions will put a lot of pressure on clients, and technological advances will increase the pace of change required.
Our clients have an opportunity to embrace technological advances and modernize legacy processes and systems, affording on demand insights and freeing up their resources to act upon this information.
To those entering the actuarial world, Chris's advice is to not be afraid to ask questions. “My jobs prior to actuarial were at warehouses, factories, and restaurants where not being crystal clear on what I should be doing could lead to an injury or irate customer,” he explains. “Bringing this mentality to my actuarial jobs has allowed me to learn faster and focus the limited time with those I'm working for on how to make my work even better, instead of fixing it because it didn't meet their expectations.”
Outside of work, Chris shares his passion for the outdoors and volunteering with his children. Chris is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries. He frequently speaks at industry conferences on complex and emerging actuarial topics.